I started working on this post on two days. Since then, I have received news of a colleague who died in an accident while driving post-call. She went to my alma mater and graduated last year, and though I did not know her personally, my heart breaks. A country with a shortage of doctors has lost a young doctor who was just starting in her career. She was well-loved, and we will all feel her absence.
A few weeks ago, the community around one of the hospitals where I work picked up their torches and pitchforks (well, sort of) and protested again. I’ve written before about South Africa’s protest state of mind, and about working during a riot.
I want to address some pertinent falsehoods about health and fitness, and why the disenfranchised have such a hard time of it.
Aren’t you ashamed? Destitute people pay exorbitant prices to see you, because they somehow think that they will get better service than in a state facility (can’t imagine where they got that idea).
There are things that private patients get that I wish you could have too: fluffy duvets, enough pillows, air-conditioning, smaller wards, speedier test results…
I wish all my patients could have a “private patient” experience; but I need you to know that there are certain things I will not do.
When I got a call one morning at 06h00 to notify me of a stabbed heart in Trauma, I was not filled with trepidation like the last time I received such a call. I thought, “I’ve done this before. I know what to do.” But I did also get the call while I was busy crushingContinue reading “A Sadder Stabbed Heart”
How does one react to seeing a book cover that claims breast feeding is “big business and bad policy”? If you’re me, you request a review copy of that book, fully intending to expose how wrong it is. As a medical student, one of the important things I was taught again and again is this:Continue reading “What If Everything You Knew About Breastfeeding Was Wrong?”
“The best strategies in healthcare begin with empathy.” An Epidemic of Empathy in Healthcare: How to Deliver Compassionate, Connected Patient Care that Creates a Competitive Advantage by Thomas H. Lee was kind of a mouthful of a book. It attracted me, predictably, because I am serious about empathy in healthcare. I’ve seen many examples of healthcareContinue reading “Book Review: An Epidemic of Empathy”
We have learned to adjust to these circumstances, because being angry every day makes the working environment unpleasant. But sometimes it is the small things, the absence of tiny luxuries, that plunges one into despair.
I want my patients to read my notes about them. I want them to be fascinated by their own health and disease, and I want them to ask me if they don’t understand what I wrote. I want their interest to hold me accountable.